Our Land, Our Life – Two Western Shoshone elders struggle to protect land from mines

The Film Our Land, Our Life presents the struggle of Carrie and Mary Dann, two Western Shoshone elders, to address the threat mining development poses to the sacred and environmentally sensitive lands of Crescent Valley, Nevada.

From film transcript:

Now you may ask yourself why the US government would come in and raid a ranch that is owned and operated by two Western Shoshone grandmothers who have lived there on this land since time immemorial? Well, as it turns out, the ranch in Crescent Valley sits on top of one of the largest gold finds in the history of the United States.

Just two or three months after the horse roundup in February of 2003, Cortez Gold…was claiming that it had found one of the most significant deposit of gold. Where? Right there where those animals had been removed.

If you want to look at degradation of the range, go look over the top of this mountain down into those roads that the mine has been putting in to do their exploration, or go look into one of these pits, or go look at all the water they’ve been pumping. And yet, that is not considered degradation of the range?

Shoshone land right now is the second largest gold producing area in the world. This microscopic gold is underneath the water table, so they are having to pump the water out to get to the earth underneath. The mines are pumping anywhere from 20,000 gallons of water per minute to 70,000 gallons of water per minute, for one mine alone, every day, 365 days a year.

…they are killing the earth.

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